If you own or are rehabbing an older home, you’re probably aware of the health risks posed by lead paint and lead poisoning when lead-containing dust and fumes are ingested or inhaled. Your best bet for lead paint mitigation is to contact Axis Response Group, one of Chicagoland’s most respected environmental contractors.
For those of our customers concerned whether their home has lead paint, here are some facts to consider.
Criteria for Lead Paint in Homes
In 1978 the U.S. banned lead additives in all paint, so any home built in 1979 and later should be lead-free.
Beginning in 1960, lead was used less and less as a paint additive, leading up to the 1978 ban. If your home was constructed during the years 1960 – 1978, the paint on its walls could contain low levels of lead. Bright colors like red, yellow, orange, and green are more likely to contain lead than darker colors.
Prior to 1960, the dangers posed by lead additives in paint were not well-known, which means that a home built before 1960 may have high lead levels – assuming the original paint is still on the walls.
If you suspect that your home may have lead paint, stores like Menard’s, Lowe’s, and Home Depot sell a DIY test kit which you can use to confirm the presence of lead.
If the test results are positive, it’s safe to paint over lead-containing walls, as long as you don’t disturb the paint by scraping, cutting, or sanding. This is very important, since the dust created by these actions is very harmful.
Why was lead added to paint?
You may be wondering why lead was ever added to paint to begin with. The answer – that it increased durability, protected against corrosion, and accelerated the drying process – would’ve made sense at a time when lead’s huge downside was unknown. In 1978, the conclusion was finally reached that lead was harmful to all people, especially young children prone to licking, biting, and touching walls and other lead-containing household items.
What are the most likely places where lead exists in a home?
Windows and window sills, doors and doorframes, trim, and baseboards are all places where lead could be concentrated in an old home. Also, exterior lead-based paint that’s exposed to the elements can over time degenerate into dangerous flakes and dust.
Schedule a Home Inspection
Even though Illinois lacks a law requiring homes be tested for lead, we strongly recommend you contact our team for a cursory home inspection. Anyone who disturbs or exposes lead-based paint without properly disposing of it is in violation of the Illinois Environmental Protection Act. Our well-qualified experts can help you avoid any EPA-related trouble by evaluating and helping your properly remove any lead-based paint in your home.
Visit our website for more information, and contact our well-qualified environmental contractors serving Glenview, IL to set up an appointment today.